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Future of NSWMA depends on feasibility study, says Gordon

Published:Monday | July 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Audley Gordon

The future of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is dependent on the outcome of the feasibility study being done by the Waste to Energy Enterprise Team, says Audley Gordon, the authority's executive director.

In addition, Gordon also noted that the absence of the result from the report has created an air of uncertainty at the NSWMA.

"It is very important that we have the feasibility study completed as quickly as possible because the future of the NSWMA, whether as a regulator or as presently constructed, both regulator and operational entity, depends largely on what comes out of the enterprise team. The feasibility study is a major plank that is set up to tell us where we go from here," he said.

"There are a lot of uncertainties now, even in how we plan, because we do not know what the final outfit will look like; and so in planning, we have to do so in an overly cautious way."




He said the authority cannot invest too much man-hours or financial resources into new projects, as this could end up being untenable or useless in a new dispensation.

According to Gordon, just recently, the NSWMA signed off on funding for a 2017 Garbage Characterisation Data Study, aimed at deciphering the constituent parts of solid waste material, which makes its way to landfills, as part of the effort to position the authority in using waste to generate electrical power, depending on the outcome of the study. The plan would include selling power to the Jamaica Public Service Company grid.

The Garbage Characterisation Data Study is to be done region by region and will last approximately six to eight weeks.

"We want to now identify how much plastic, for example, is part of the solid waste make-up in Jamaica; how much paper; how much of that is tree cuttings; so in the end, we will have a greater understanding of the make-up of solid waste being generated," Gordon noted.

Earlier this year, the enterprise team engaged a consultant to prepare a pre-feasibility study report on an integrated solid waste management system for Jamaica, as the Government is seeking to develop a comprehensive solid waste management programme that would allow the NSWMA to focus on being a regulator rather than an operator.